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Google Ads Deep Dive: Harnessing Lookalike & Engaged Audiences

Google Ads Deep Dive: Harnessing Lookalike & Engaged Audiences

In the marketing and business world, there comes a time when professionals are required to yield more conversions without augmenting the cost. This can be achieved through the enlargement of advertising flow. In such instances, it’s ideal to bank on the prolific capabilities of Google, particularly its proficiency in automating audience selection for campaigns on Google Display Network (GDN).

Starting advertisement campaigns on GDN necessitate an awareness that the network extends across over 2 million websites, engaging more than 90% of worldwide internet users (as stated by DMR data). GDN campaigns can be manually directed towards the desired demographic, factoring in their interests, likely purchases, as well as future and previous events. This range is fairly broad and possibly encompasses individuals who may visit your website but do not make any acquisitions. Such transitions can only lead to a drop in the Click Through Rate (CTR) and incur an escalation in the cost per conversion.

Google’s machine learning provides a unique advantage to advertisers by allowing the incorporation of lookalike audiences into their campaign configurations. This feature is engineered based on the features of users who have executed a target action. Consequently, there is an enhancement in targeted actions, an uptick in the number of conversions, and ultimately a higher return on advertising investment.

As provided by Google Ads Channel data, employing lookalike audiences can surge the count of engaged viewers for your ad by 80%, and has the potential to yield an extra 40% in conversions.

Google Ads Deep Dive: Harnessing Lookalike & Engaged Audiences

How Google learns about your audience

Evaluating buyers’ behavior relies upon the accurate set-up of objectives.

Individuals who’ve performed a specific activity on your site, such as adding items to their shopping cart, making a purchase, or requesting a callback, often share similar traits and characteristics. They might have seen the same ad previously, shown interest in specific topics (like moving house, planning a holiday, etc.), or browsed similar websites. Once you’ve gathered enough data about your customers’ actions, Google automatically generates a lookalike audience for your advertisements.

The value of machine learning

Machine learning offers significant advantages particularly for audience selection due to its ability to automate processes that would normally take marketing teams weeks to complete in seconds:

  • It has the capacity to scrutinize thousands of users and websites, monitor millions of activities, and identify shared attributes among unrelated users.
  • It permits real-time adjustments. As it processes millions of signals, Google reacts to transformations swiftly. If an existing audience displays changed traits, the system for creating a lookalike audience adapts accordingly.
  • It exclusively attracts fresh users. If a particular user completes a certain activity, they are then removed from the lookalike audience list.
Google Ads Deep Dive: Harnessing Lookalike & Engaged Audiences

When initiating an advertising campaign on the Google Display Network, it is crucial to remember that its efficiency rests on the substantial amount of data that supports Google’s machine learning methods.

How do you work with lookalike audiences?

Despite Google’s almost infinite capabilities, the success of an advertising campaign is intricately connected with the actions of the advertiser themselves.

Here’s a guide on effectively utilizing look-alike audiences:

  • Setting up goals in Google Ads or Google Analytics is your starting point. Remember to establish your goals in such a way that the system is able to receive a sufficient amount of data. Consider a scenario where customers on your website are likely to carry out purchases after speaking with a customer service representative rather than making online payments via card. In this situation, it makes more sense to put emphasis on the shopping cart button or the call request, bypassing the input form for payment data.
  • Once goals have been accomplished, they are shifted over to the “Audience Manager” found within Google Ads. Lookalike audiences are generated on autopilot, and it’s possible to view the size of each one.
  • Lookalike audiences can be attached to a pre-existing GDN campaign, or used to start a new one. In order to simplify the process of analyzing and comparing metrics, it is often optimal to kickstart a fresh advertising campaign.
  • Given that a similar target audience consists purely of new consumers, its size will inevitably dwindle over time. However, once your lookalike audiences have been fully utilized, you can leverage another feature: Automated Targeting.

Automated targeting: conservative and aggressive strategies

Creating a new ad group on Display Network provides you with two possibilities: manually setting the targeting options or allowing the system to take control. If you opt for the latter, you must decide between conservative or aggressive automation.

Google Ads Deep Dive: Harnessing Lookalike & Engaged Audiences

Both techniques can tremendously boost impressions. However, to ensure that you don’t exhaust your budget prematurely, understanding the distinguishing facets of each methodology is crucial.

  • Conservative Automation: This method involves the system appending new placements or spots closely related to your chosen settings. Assume you’re offering Thailand tours and have incorporated relevant keywords in your settings. In this case, conservative targeting might comprise sites linked to Thailand, touristic spots, visa procedures, and so on. If you are meticulous in your audience selection, your existing conversion cost should virtually remain the same.
  • Aggressive Automation: This methodology leverages data analytics and prediction and necessitates at least 15 conversions a month to be activated. Given data on users who bought Thailand trips, Google may expand impressions to individuals who harbor interest in Thai culture or Buddhism or keenly follow Muay Thai matches but are not yet ready to buy a tour. While this approach can considerably enhance the number of conversions, it also escalates the cost. It’s extremely useful during special promotions, seasonal offers, or substantial competition spurts. To augment your advertisement performance, the system may enhance your bids when showing advertisements to individuals deemed potential travelers by Google. Because every advertisement budget ultimately has a limit, it’s recommended that you activate the intelligent bidding tactics, “Target CPA” or “Target ROAS”, in the campaign settings. With a set conversion cost cap, Google aims to uphold that cost.

The advertiser’s course of action is equally essential. Consider the strategy below, employed by the educational firm Mindvalley in the past:

Google Ads Deep Dive: Harnessing Lookalike & Engaged Audiences

Initially, the campaign’s cost per click was manually adjusted. Following the recording of the first conversions, the system amplified the cost per click for probable customers to boost their growth. After 30 days worth of data was accumulated, the Target CPA and Target ROAS strategies were introduced. Following another round of data collection for 30 days and obtaining the desired cost per conversion, automatic targeting was established. Adequate conversion data allowed the system to explore fresh audience interactions through conservative targeting before ultimately transitioning to aggressive targeting at zero additional cost.

For Mindvalley, the upshot was a conversion growth up to 484% and a sales increase of up to 528%, while maintaining the conversion cost – according to data from Think with Google.

The ideal targeting option for your venture depends on your advertising aspirations and business features. However, you can experiment by creating two ad groups and later comparing their performance. While doing so, it is crucial to remember that aggressive targeting will need more time to understand an audience, reconcile interests with targeted actions, and reach the best conversion price.

A Notice to Advertisers

The conversion rate is influenced not only by the selected tactics and configurations but also by the excellence of the ad itself. A compelling advertisement ought to serve the user’s needs, provide invaluable information, align with their inclinations, and successfully direct them to a superior landing webpage.

An appropriately devised and sophisticated amalgamation of Google’s features with the expertise of an ad creator can skyrocket the success of your promotional efforts!

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